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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

ioo       HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

kept in mind that the Church undertook the business of educa-
tion, not because it regarded education as good in itself, but
because it found that it could not do its own proper work without
giving its adherents, and especially its clergy, as much of the
former learning as was required for the study of the sacred
writings and for the performance of their religious duties.    In
the first instance, there was no thought of instructing the young
in preparation for the needs of ordinary life.   As time went on,
however, it became necessary for the Church to extend the scope
of its educational interests.   Here and there were Churchmen
who advanced their scholarship beyond the limits of what was
directly valuable for religious purposes and cultivated learning
for its own sake.  In some parts of Europe, toor where the Latin
language was unfamiliar, it was essential that schools for the laity,
and particularly for the ruling classes, should be established
side by side with the churches in order that the principles and
practices of the Church should be comprehensible.   From that
to a general instruction, such as was given in the grammar schools
under the Empire, was but a short step; and this step was the
more easily taken because from the first the spread of education
was encouraged by the more enlightened kings, who saw, as the
Roman emperors whose example they were following had done,
that the prosperity of their States depended on the diffusion of
at least the elements of learning among their peoples.   In this
way it came that, as social conditions grew more settled and the
old learning was recreated within the Church, schools sprang
up under its auspices in every direction, until by the Eleventh
Century the greater part of Europe was again well provided with
the means of education.

In spite of its borrowings from the old, the new education
was very different in spirit. The aim of the Roman schools
had been quite definitely secular. Their finest products had
been men well versed in literature and masters of the oratorical
arts, which enabled them to play their parts in the law courts
and in the service of town and State. With the transfer of
educational authority from the State to the Church, the studies
of the schools, even when the same as before, had changed
their character with their purpose. The aim was now essentially
other-worldly. The ultimate reason for any form of education
was the advantage it brought to the faith. The typical man of